A Travellerspoint blog

Interesting Places....

One to remember....

Well at this point I am totally shattered, I hurt everywhere, we are in Lamington National Park, I have just done an 18km walk which the last 6.5km we decided to run. “RUN” I said “I am battling to walk and you want me to run” Rod must have been inspired by Commando Steve from The Biggest Looser show who has been running a boot camp up here at Binna Burra in the Lamington NP. He is much better looking in person then on TV.steve-the-commando-m.jpg

Anyway let me back track as I have missed a few interesting stops like Byron Bay the most easterly part of Australia. The home of the Bong, The Thong, and The Sarong. We hit the town ready to take on the world, but not much was happening at “Cheeky Monkey’s” no wet T-Shirt competitions or dancing on the tables which is not how I remember the joint. The last trip I did there with Martin Dinger to the Blues and Roots Festival it was a different story. (By the way when are we all going to the Blues and Roots Festival tickets are going on sale now. It might be good for next year anyone interested?) Anyway we went to Station Pub chatted to a few non locals as everyone in Byron Bay is a visitor and then hit the sack. The next day we rode to the lighthouse which was a 400m climb, I thought I was going to die when I reach the top, however riding down with the wind in my face was in exhilarating experience. As you know Byron Bay is a bit “arty farty” and people are always demonstrating skills like the talented seagull on the beach, you can tell he is not a MacDonald’s junkie he has style and technique. We finished off the night at the “Owl and Pussy” watching the State of Origin with topless waitresses which made the game all the more interesting for Rod.
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The next day we went to Nimbin maybe I should skip that part.......Mmmmmmm no I will go there. You have to be high on something to even fathom the place. We went out on Friday night and there were 2 places open, a “Hemp Bar” and the local pub. Rod took one look at the “Hemp Bar” and continued walking, almost running! I grabbed him and said “one drink”. We walked into this long narrow shop with a few tables down the one side, some stoned guy on a guitar who looked like his bed was on the pavement outside, strangely enough he could sing and play pretty well. I somehow don’t think that he was the paid entertainment. So I go up to the counter to order a drink and they only serve tea, coffee and hot chocolate with a cookie or a cake. Well we opted for the hot chocolates without the cake and cookies as we were in a Hemp Bar after all, the state where everyone makes their money from pot in one form or another. We were there for about an hour an after one hour of passive smoking we decided that this strong feeling in our head was most likely coming from our location so we should probably move as we did not want to join other paranoid people on the street and have to sleep there as we can’t find our way home. Who knows we may never leave...LOL. So we left and went to the pub which was a grand mix of people from your hippie 70 old grandma dancing like no one was watching or the dreadlock crazy guy singing like no one was listening or even the grandpa in a denim skirt dressed like no one could see him. We decided that after one drink at the pub it was time to head home. The band was the sanest looking people we had seen in the last 24hours and none of them were under 50. All in all it was an amazing time and we will always have a little of Nimbin with us ............. I made a duvet cover that was what I meant.

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Anyway which brings us back to our current location but on the way up we caught up with our Russian friend Ivan, Rod got his glider out dusted off the cobwebs and had a fly at Mt Tambourine, but we have reach our destination Lamington National Park where good clean air and beautiful walks and runs are a must, and oh don’t forget the gorgeous Commando Steve..........
We would love to read your comments so please feel free to write to us through our blog as we have about 400 readers even if we know you or not... Chow Angie
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Posted by airbornenemo 19:52 Comments (3)

choice..

looks like we won't always get it right!

now that we have finally got this trip under way for real (no more one week here and 10 days there...), the big question was where to go?? After 'careful' research we figured south would be too cold and west is still mostly under water from the Queensland floods. With east being the Pacific ocean - north was the best choice. With Sydney getting colder as winter sets in, we were looking forward to some warm sunshine - who knows, maybe even a dive in the surf...

They say a picture paints a thousand words... well here's 1005...!
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Why settle for cold OR wet when you can have BOTH.

Not to be too pessimistic, we had a few beautiful days in Nambucca Heads. The beach is hard enough to ride a bike on and Ang got involved with a group of fishermen taking advantage of the annual mullet spawning run... One morning on the beach we noticed a few guys with 4x4's and a tinnie running up and down the beach pointing madly here and there. They would launch the boat, head out 20 metres or so then turn back, load it on a trailer, drive 100m down the beach and repeat the whole thing.

Eventually it became obvious - once they spotted the fish (as we also did) they launched the boat dragging a net with the opposite end attached to a 4x4 on the beach. After completing a semi-circle back to the beach, they attached the 'boat end' of the net to another 4x4 and dragged thousands of fish onto the beach. Ingenious - just hope there's enough in years to come. We were told stories about the indigenous forefathers walking knee-deep in the breakers, flicking fish onto the beach using sticks..

One of the locals paid me a huge complement by mistaking me for an 'elite athlete' by asking if I was in town for the Geoquest 48hr adventure race. With excitement we decided we would at least volunteer to man a few checkpoints and thereby get to see whats going. Ang of-course was using the opportunity to get me to stand in for a competitor who had not turned up - 'sure my husband can do this, he does this stuff all the time...'. Needless to say, had she succeeded, I would still be delirious in some flooded forest/swamp somewhere pointing a muddied compass in the general direction of north (where its apparently warm and dry!!).

We ended up manning two checkpoints - one on the beach in great sunshine
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and 12 hrs later at the end of 'the road to nowhere' on the top of Dorrigo mountain (800m) in torrential rain and not too far off sub-zero temperatures. A great exercise of-course in setting up the camper in the dark, in bucketing rain and 1.5m visibility. We were hesitant to complain however, as we had just had a very mild taste of what the competitors were going through. When they started coming through, soaked, cold, some hyperthermic, some bloodied and yet (mostly) in good spirits, we could appreciate being near some form of warmth and dry.
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8 or so guys and GIRLS taking advantage of a rather small dry area in our camper. After repeated instructions from Ang, they did get the message loud and clear to 'STAY OFF MY BED!!!' while I was trying to remember the weight rating of that raised floor that doubles as the lid of the camper - watertight for the coast and dustproof for the desert... Not sure if that still applies... The hot teas and coffees went down well I'm sure - although against the rules we found out later... '... may not accept assistence of nourishment, drinks or medical attention... blah blah...'

After that bit of excitement we commenced a mission to search for drier pastures which, I'm sorry to report, is still a work-in-progress... Byron Bay in a small caravan park-style chalet is currently home with the camper trying to dry outside in the rain. Looking to be a great week to get some work done.

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Lennox Head paragliding take off - hope to be coming back for a fly in a few days... Ang says she's a better photographer - I think I'm just more photogenic...?

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Pretty much the view all around right now..

Posted by airbornenemo 07:01 Archived in Australia Comments (4)

Jeff and Sam the bush Mice

Creativity

Well the Warrumbungles were a disappointment to say the least the blackman camping area was as nice as a coles car park. We did not get an off road camper trailer to park on the tar in a National Park. So we chose the other camping area in the Warrumbungles which was just a big open field with a male and female long drop. We did not intend to stay there for as long as we did but Rowan Bestmann was offering a 2 day photography course which I thought I would like to attend. It was ok, we learnt 3 things, shutter speed, ISO and aperture. We learnt these on the first morning so what we did for the next day and a half who knows. In my wisdom and exploration of my creative side I made up a poem to assist me in remembering these 3 aspects of my camera and it may very wel assist you in yours - so here goes.......

LET TIME STAND STILL
Shutter doors, shutter doors, open and close
Allow enough time for my picture to expose
From 1 – 6000th its measured in time
Bringing a streak of light for my stars to shine.

ISO ISO who’s sensitive to light
Make my picture bright even if I take it at night
A grainy image may not look sincere
Just reduce your ISO and get your picture clear.

As for Aperture the blur we require
Help find our “point of Focus” before we retire
The lower the aperture the more blurry we may find
Remembering everything in front of our “point of Focus” should be behind.

So love what your see when you hear that click
And Freeze time in a frame its a magical trick.......

Anyway thinking of the other things that I remember about the Warrumbungles, I remember Jeff and Sam two little bush mice that decided that our camper trailer was the nearest MacDonalds. Every so often there would be scratching and chewing and Rod would bang on the side of the trailer all hours of the night scaring them away in which they would just return an hour later and look for the next snack. So the following night we closed up everything, threw out the rubbish did not leave a crumb in the kitchen. Jeff and Sam decided that seeing there was nothing in the kitchen there must be something in the bedroom. They could smell the left over remains in our coffee cup. So here we have Rod sleeping like a baby..... the next minute he shoots up out of the bed and is totally freaked. Jeff the mouse had run across his face. Well that was it, the next thing he is running around the small area which you can’t swing a cat in screaming every time Jeff runs near his foot although he is trying to hit him with a plunger and a dustpan. (Why the hell would you take a plunger camping, you may ask, well it is how I do my washing. It is quite an ingenious idea thought of by Rod and it really works, plunger in a bucket is the same as a washing machine just a bit more muscular effort) Anyway back to Rod running around the room with a plunger and a dustpan in his undies jumping every now and again so high that you would think there was a snake in the room. He finally has Jeff under the plunger and now looks to me to do something. He plunged once or twice and sadly Jeff was no more however the next night Sam had a three course meal left waiting for him in the kitchen with dessert as long as he stayed out of our sleeping room..... Good on you Rod

Posted by airbornenemo 03:47 Comments (1)

1st stop second time

Tony's Suggestion

Well after a very deserved catch-up with all the ladies we finally left on our once again outback adventure although we are no closer to the out back then we were 3 months ago when we left for the first time and we have to once again stay close to home as we are due back in 2 weeks for a very important 40th I mean 50th – thanks Marita.

Well our first stop on this fine trip was a request from Tony Parker (our retired vet neighbour) who at our farewell brought Glen Davis as a suggestion on the “So_we_to now” list. This was a quiet little suburb on a long dirt road with an amazing sandstone backdrop in an incredibly beautiful valley. The town only has 30 people – sorry 29 since Jim and Debbie separated and she went back to her mother. It has a free camping site with hot showers and a community hall/info centre which is only manned on weekends and sells chocolates, ice creams, and crisps (literarily) It could not even give us a map of the area, anyway the ladies who faithfully give up there weekends to sit and chatter all day are a wealth of information on who is doing who....but that was it.

In true Rod style he suggests we take our bicycles to check out the area and maybe collect some wood as there is no wood at the camping area not even for sale which could have been more useful then the chocolates and ice creams – no let’s just say ice creams. I did happen to mention that I have no back brakes on my left side of the bike as it has not been ridden for ........ well let’s just say a long time. We both collect 2 x 3m logs and placed them on our shoulder, mine on my right as I am right handed. We proceed to go hurtling down the hill back towards the camping area and I realise that I have no brakes under my left hand which happens to be the only one on the handle bars. I manage to dislodge one of the 5m logs while the other is about to pole vault me and my bicycle over itself. I finally get my right hand to the only brake that works and slam it on which does pole vault my bicycle over itself – needless to say I only ended up with a broken toe as I was only wearing my Crocs and I have no idea where it ended up to actually be in the way. (True Angela style)
We did however manage to ask someone if the walk to Newens (over the mountain through the gap) was do-able on a mountain bike and he said that he had never seen it done before. (MMMMmmmm never seen it done before).............Do you think that sounded any alarm bells in Rods ears, Oh No No. Out of the 13 km to the top of the mountain range and back we rode about 1.5 the rest we pushed or carried our bike. The track had barely been walked before never mind ridden. In the process however I have devised the best method for all you avid mountain bike adventure racers, on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to carrying a mountain bike. I will demonstrate in the attached pics...

We did learn that Glen Davis was a once bustling town with around 2500 people. It had a bowls club, 2 rugby teams, 2 soccer teams, a 9 hole golf course, just to mention a few. It started producing petroleum in the turn of the nineteenth century. The cost of producing 1 gallon of fuel true ozzie style was 5 shillings and the cost to import it from overseas was only 1 shilling plus some thruppence or whatever they were. Hence it did not last and was closed in 1952. It now has an excellent tour at 2pm every Saturday at the old petrol plant conducted by “Bill the pommy tour guide” who was amazingly passionate and who had a wealth of history and information. Thanks Bill and the quiet sleepy town of Glen Davis – off to Warrumbungles.

Posted by airbornenemo 05:10 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

time to go...again

waiting game is almost over...

Well after using up all my phone-charm, guilt and only a little begging, Ang has agreed to shorten her Africa trip and come home early so we can get going on this trip before the oldest/driest continent dries up again and only our grand-kids get to see Lake Ayre with water in it. On a positive note, a little more preparation including a few subtile mods on the 'home on wheels', have been carried out - thanks mainly to the recent outdoor camping & RV show at Rosehill.

No doubt Ang is going to need to catch up on all the goss from the past few weeks, so this request goes out to all the ladies (and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!) to please keep it short and to the point. Being non-male it is understood that this may be an unfamiliar concept, so feel free to use these guidelines:

- all catch-ups to be conducted over one or two(max) cups of tea
- cake is an unnecessary time waster and is fattening
- red wine leads to repeating oneself which is also unecessary
- all goss stories & snippets to be kept to 200 words or less
- prefer for one large catchup with all ladies present thereby negating the urge to gossip about each other, a further waste of time

For a more detailed explanation, please refer to husband/boy-friend...

Hopefully once on the road we will have more interesting topics to blog about, so don't go away yet..

...excitement's growing...

Posted by airbornenemo 07:26 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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